USA Today Bestselling Author
The true measure of a man
is not in the mistakes he makes…
but in how he handles those mistakes.
Zeke left the Army and joined his brother’s bar, Grimm’s, as a bouncer before convincing Zander to open a restaurant next door. Now, as co-owner of Grimm’s Bar and Grill, he shared his success by working as a cook at the local homeless shelter.
One night, he sees a woman seeking shelter and is captivated by the smile she offers when she is in such need.
Cynthia works at Prince Hotel as a cleaner but lost her housing when she had excessive medical bills. With Zeke’s help, she manages to get back on her feet and discover love with the handsome man.
At work, things are looking up when the owner takes an interest in her and offers her a job as his assistant. But all things that glitter are not gold, and Cynthia discovers that her life with Zeke is the true fairy tale.
A Heroes at Heart novel based loosely on the fairy tale, Cinderella.
Themes, language, and adult situations are similar to an R-rated movie. For 18+ years.
I loved the way this book started with a look into the past when Zeke first arrives at Miss Ethel’s. It progresses into his school years and his love for the Cinderella story, all of them not just the ‘Disney’ version.
In the present we see Zeke and Zander as they prepare to venture into opening a second Grimm’s. They’ve found the perfect location for it and things will start moving quickly.
After announcing their news at dinner at Miss Ethel’s Zeke hangs back from leaving sensing she wants to speak with him. I love Miss Ethel’s wisdom and this is one of my favorite scenes.
If you are reading this series you will recall Asher is very active with the homeless, particularly one shelter. Zeke has made it a habit to prepare breakfast at this shelter before heading into Grimm’s for meal prep there. After visiting with Miss Ethel, Zeke heads to the shelter to see if he needs to bring in anything for the next day’s breakfast.
He held back as Miss Ethel took him by the hand, and they walked over to two of the rockers on the front porch. Making sure she was settled first, he moved to the rocker next to her, finding the movement to be soothing.
“I could tell you wanted to talk to me,” he said, his lips curving into a smile.
She took a moment as though gathering her thoughts, her gaze drifting out over her yard before moving back to his face. “I’m very proud of you Zeke,” she said.
Her words soothed through him as they always had, and he knew that pleasing her would always bring that kind of satisfaction.
“I’m proud of all my boys,” she continued. “The men you are. The success you have.”
He held her gaze and said, “You do know that we owe it all to you, Miss Ethel?”
She waved her hand dismissively in front of her and said, “Oh, posh. I don’t deny that I’ve had a hand in helping each of you, but the brotherhood you formed has given each of you individual as well as collective strength.”
Agreeing, he said, “Yes, and you’re the one that gave us that brotherhood. You created a family out of a bunch of boys who didn’t know anything about family.”
They were quiet for a moment, and he added, “I wasn’t sure it would work for me.”
Her face scrunched slightly, the wrinkles settling deeper. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
“You got the others when they were much younger. Me? I was already thirteen years old. An angry thirteen-year-old. I could have already been beyond help.”
She continued rocking and did not immediately refute his statement. Finally, she said, “There was already something in you, learned from your parents. You know, we sometimes learn how to act from our parents, but we also learn how we don’t want to act. By the time you came to me, yes, you were angry. Angry at life, and angry at your mom for leaving, and your dad for not controlling his temper. But unlike your dad, you didn’t turn that anger outward on others. You had already learned to control it, and I just simply gave you a good family to focus on.”
They continued rocking for a moment, and then she finally spoke again. “I worry that you’re taking on too much work.”
This time he grinned, those words being what he expected to hear from her. “We all work hard,” he said. “You always worked hard.”
“Yes, but your brothers have found that there’s more to life than work. They found love as well.”
Ruefully shaking his head back and forth, he said, “I’m not opposed to that, Miss Ethel. I figure I’ll know it when it hits me.”
With that, her laughter burst forth, and she said, “It’s true. Sometimes we don’t always know when love comes our way. I just hope you’ll be open to it when the opportunity presents itself.”
“I’m no prince,” he said. “I’m just a hard-working man, and it’ll take a special woman to see that.”
“Your brothers found it. You’ll find it, too.” She smiled then said, “Remember Robert Browning? ‘I was made and meant to look for you and wait for you—”
“And become yours forever,” they finished together, his smile matching hers.
She spoke with such conviction, and considering she always seemed to know things, he could not dismiss her words. They continued to rock in companionable silence for a few more minutes before he finally said, “I’m going to head on out, Miss Ethel. I want to go by the homeless shelter this evening to see if there’s anything special I needed to get for the breakfast service tomorrow.”
He assisted her to stand, then wrapped his arms around her and felt hers wrap around his waist in return. She was not quite as tall as she used to be, her frame slightly thinner. But her hug contained the same fierceness of love and protection as it had many years ago.
Maryann Jordan. Zeke: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 393-423).
If you are reading this series you will recall Asher is very active with the homeless, particularly one shelter. Zeke has made it a habit to prepare breakfast at this shelter before heading into Grimm’s for meal prep there. After dinner and a chat with Miss Ethel, Zeke heads to the shelter to see if he needs to bring in anything for the next day’s breakfast.
Cynthia arrived at the shelter late, and drenched from the rain and nervous. She had never been to a shelter, but it was much safer than the alternatives. When Zeke moves to help her with her bags, he realizes he’s a stranger would be scaring her, but there’s an attraction he can’t refute.
I love the way this story progresses, it’s a slow building romance where trust needs to be built, and leads to some sizzling heat.
5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!
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As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.
My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.
Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.
I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!
I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.
When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!
I love to hear from readers, so please email me!